Aug 06 2008

Pakistan Exposes CIA Activities In Pakistan Tribal Areas

Those of us who have been keeping an eye focused on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and the lawless tribal regions of Pakistan (the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the North West Frontier Province (NWFP)) have know from sporadic news reports spanning almost year that the CIA and US Special Forces were operating inside Pakistan, along side the Pakistan government. The recent pressure from the US (and others) on Pakistan to deal with the remaining cesspool of Islamo Fascist terrorists in their tribal areas has been causing fractures and emotions to run high.

And this recently led to Pakistan exposing the fact openly that they have sanctioned and supported CIA and US Special Forces hits on the people of the Tribal Areas:

PAKISTAN last night accused the US of failing to “take out” al-Qa’ida-linked militant leader Baitullah Mehsud with CIA Hellfire drone missiles when it had the chance.

The accusation was an attempt to turn the tables on critics of the nation’s spy agency, the ISI, who say the agency has done little to stem rising Islamic militancy in tribal regions.

Pakistani officials told the US chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, and CIA deputy director Stephen R.Kappes that no action had been taken to mobilise the CIA’s Hellfire drone missiles when “actionable intelligence” was provided that Mehsud would be travelling in his Toyota Land Cruiser to a media conference he had called in his mountain stronghold in South Waziristan on May 24.

He reached the conference, and returned home afterwards, along exposed mountain roads.

This is quite a stunning turn of events. It shows serious frustration and clumsiness on the Pakistan side of the alliance. US Citizens are going to be cheering the fact we have had these forces in place, and they are probably the ones taking out these high value targets.

And Americans will also understand the US will not aim our fire power just anywhere Pakistan wants us to – we will not be brought into a political battle between Pak factions. We don’t want to become Pakistan’s police force, or worse their enforcer.

While this may seem bad, in reality it is a good sign. Bureaucrats tend to settle in and only upheaval means things are starting to move. The bureaucracy cries the loudest when it is being forced to take action. Pakistan’s own citizens now know something else – US strikes in Pakistan are not always surprises to the Pak military. Sometimes they are directions from Pakistan in the form of intelligence on targets. That is going to have an interesting effect on Pakistan and the Islamo Fascists.

More here on the attempt to blame the US for not controlling Pakistan’s internal problems:

The Pakistani officials said that the Americans were not interested in disrupting the Kabul-based fountainhead of terrorism in Balochistan nor do they want to allocate the marvellous predator resource to neutralise the kingpin of suicide bombings against the Pakistani military establishment now hiding near the Pak-Afghan border, added the paper.

They proved Brahamdagh Bugti’s presence in Afghan intelligence safe houses in Kabul, his photographed visits to New Delhi and his orders for terrorism in Balochistan. The US officials were also asked why the CIA-run predator and the US military did not swing into action when they were provided the exact location of Baitullah Mehsud, Pakistan’s enemy number one and the mastermind of almost every suicide operation against the Pakistan Army and the ISI since June 2006.

According to them, one such precise piece of information was made available to the CIA on May 24 when Baitullah Mehsud drove to a remote South Waziristan mountain post in his Toyota Land Cruiser to address the press and returned back to his safe abode. The US military has the capacity to direct a missile to a precise location at very short notice as it has done close to 20 times in the last few years to hit al-Qaeda targets inside Pakistan.

What I find amusing in all this is how the current Pak Government parties have been clamoring for years that the US was controlling Pakistan and violating its sovereignty. They won elections this year based on the concept of removing US control on Pakistan and handle their own security in their own way. Now they whine when we don’t take care of the bad guys? This is a sure sign the current Pak government has lost control and is now demanding help.

And with good reason, they could use the help. They have a rising terrorist problem that is roiling the FATA and NWFP areas (see here and here for examples). But folks need to realize the militants are under pressure too. As the last link demonstrates, there have been a lot of violent acts aimed at Pakistan citizens. And the Taliban have made just recently made a threat that will be their undoing:

A Taliban spokesman on Tuesday warned Pakistan’s government to end a military crackdown against insurgents in a restive northwestern mountain valley or face suicide bombings.

Maulvi Umar said the government had run out of time and must stop the current military operation in the Swat Valley, where the army says bloody clashes this week have left 125 dead.

“Our ultimatum has ended. Now they have made a strike and it is our turn to strike whether it will be tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or whenever,” Umar told a news conference in a village mosque in Bajaur tribal region bordering Afghanistan guarded by more than 100 heavily armed militants.

More here:

Maulvi Omar said the Tehrik’s chief, Baitullah Mehsud, had held consultations with key Taliban commanders and they were of the opinion that the only way to effectively counter the government’s aggressive plans was to launch massive attacks.

He said a plan had been finalised and the Tehrik had decided to launch suicide attacks in Peshawar, Mardan, Dir and other districts.

The reality is if these thugs make good on their promise, the Pakistan people will rise up against them. Right now these battles are internal Pakistan matters. The US forces in country are hunting al-Qaeda, not policing the Tribal Areas. Baitullah Meshud, one of the key militant Taliban leaders, is threatening Pakistan more than Afghanistan and US forces there. He is responsible for killing Benazir Bhutto last fall.

What is truly interesting about all this is that it gives the perfect conditions for Pakistan to ask the US for assistance with its internal security issues. They could do this by making the point that Baitullah Mehsud and the militant Taliban are a threat to Pakistan, Afghanistan and India – two of which are nuclear powers. If that were to happen, and we did get an invite to deal with the Islamo Fascists in the Tribal Areas, it would be interesting to see happen. It does make one wonder where all this is heading.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Pakistan Exposes CIA Activities In Pakistan Tribal Areas”

  1. crosspatch says:

    Parsonally, I don’t understand why they don’t just call 1-800-TALIBAN and see who answers the phone! [/sarcasm]

    “And Americans will also understand the US will not aim our fire power just anywhere Pakistan wants us to – we will not be brought into a political battle between Pak factions.”

    Exactly. Did we get the information soon enough to do surveillance AND get a weapon into position? We need to make sure there aren’t any civilians around. And unless we are watching someone get into that truck and track it all the way to the engagement point, we can’t shoot because just seeing a Toyota truck or even a red Toyota truck on that highway doesn’t mean that is HIS truck. There could be several trucks that look like that on that road at any given time … which one is his? Unless we have some way of pinpointing the exact vehicle AND knowing who is inside (or in the case of women and children, who is NOT inside) we aren’t going to pull the trigger.

    Can you imagine the backlash if Pakistan tells us that #1 terrorist is on the road in a red Toyota and we just blast every red Toyota in the vicinity? If the Pakistanis had this information, why didn’t THEY take him and the whole media event out themselves?

  2. […] Pakistan Exposes CIA Activities In Pakistan Tribal AreasThose of us who have been keeping an eye focused on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and the lawless tribal regions of Pakistan (the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the North West Frontier Province (NWFP)) have know from … […]